Flagpoling – Validating your Immigration Status in Canada


Flagpoling is a term that describes the process of exiting Canada, being refused entry to the USA and re-entering Canada to validate your new immigration status in Canada.

For most individuals who are eligible to the flagpole, it is the preferred method to validate study permits, work permits and permanent residency.

This is largely due to the fact that flagpole is a lot quicker than trying to schedule a landing interview in Canada.

It will typically take the border officer 30 minutes to process your application, whereas it can take Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) weeks or months to organize an interview.

What should you bring when flagpoling?

  • your passport, travel or identity document (including your visa sticker, if you have one), and
  • your Confirmation of Permanent Residence, permanent resident visa, letter of introduction or any instructions from the Canadian visa office, and
  • your proof of legal status in Canada, such as a valid work permit, study permit, temporary resident permit, or visitor document, or any immigration document you have (whether valid or not), or
  • proof of implied status (if you applied to extend your stay before it ended). Proof of this status may include:
    • payment receipt,
    • copy of your application to extend your stay,
    • printout of online application, or
    • proof of mailing.

Note: You must leave Canada, enter another country and re-enter Canada to become a permanent resident at an international airport or Canadian land border.

If you need a visa to enter another country before you re-enter Canada, it is up to you to get the visa.

Where should I flagpole?

There are lots of places along the US/ Canadian border where you can flagpole.

Province breakdown:

  • Alberta: 6
  • British Columbia: 18
  • Manitoba: 16
  • New Brunswick: 18
  • Ontario: 14
  • Quebec: 30
  • Saskatchewan: 12
  • Yukon: 3

Thanks to CIC for the advice!

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